Hey guys its cub and it is my ongoing mission to review every Atelier game ever released. This time we’re taking a quick look at the Atelier Dusk Trilogy Deluxe Pack, which is a package of Atelier Ayesha DX, Atelier Escha & Logy DX, and Atelier Shallie DX. All three have been given an upgrade to run on modern platforms, including updated graphics, improved quality of life features, and a bunch of other additional DLC. As a fan of the series that had yet to play the trilogy, it was the perfect time to jump into it.
So for those that aren’t that familiar with it, the Atelier franchise is a JRPG series largely focused on exploration, gathering, combat, and crafting. The stories are usually laid-back and include a bunch of slice of life elements, and the Dusk Trilogy is no exception. With Ayesha you’re on a journey to rescue your sister, with Escha & Logy you’re unlocking the secrets behind some floating ruins, and with Shallie you’re trying to save your village from eventual downfall.
They’re not the most well-written stories, but they’re fun to experience in the moment and I quite like how each offers a different glimpse into the world from three different time periods. The games take place years apart from one another, yet maintain some of the same characters the entire time, so it’s cool to see how they grow as well. Out of the three though, I’d have to say that Ayesha has the most enjoyable story thus far. It has a more serious story compared to the others, but still manages to maintain a light slice of life side, offering up a contrast that surprisingly works.
On the topic of characters, the Dusk Trilogy stays true to the series with some very high-quality character designs. Hidari is the one behind the designs for the trilogy and you may already know him from his work on Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia and Toukiden 1 and 2. The designs here in Dusk Trilogy are detailed, expressive, and perfectly fit the game’s setting and general atmosphere. In fact, they’re actually my favorite in the entire series, particularly Escha & Logy, which even saw an anime adaptation back in 2014. It isn’t just the characters either, the overall art direction is also some of the best the series has to offer.
This extends to the music as well, with the Dusk Trilogy having my favorite set of soundtracks in the entire series. There’s the fluffy fantasy themes, the upbeat battle themes, and the numerous other tracks that all come together to help establish the game’s overall aesthetic. The voice acting is also pretty good across the board, both in Japanese and in English. Although the Steam store page does not list English audio as an option, the games do actually include English dubs, although these dubs are partial and do not cover all of the dialogue that the Japanese dubs do.
However, what many know the series for is its gathering and crafting, elements that are just as important here in the Dusk Trilogy. A large chunk of your time will be spent exploring the map, picking up ingredients, and using those ingredients to craft a variety of different items, including tools, bombs, potions, etc. The crafting is significantly less complex than in its modern counterparts Lulua and Ryza, but is still fun in its own right and plays an important role in how each game develops, both gameplay-wise and story-wise. Shallie in particular had my favorite crafting system of the three, as it managed to find that perfect balance between being somewhat complex while not going completely overboard.
The combat is also worth noting. Each of the games makes use of turn-based combat with turns dependent on an action bar (which is basically a fancy queue that determines who gets to move next). Certain moves will put you back farther on this bar than others, so there’s already a layer of strategy from just that. Shallie, once again, has the most complex combat mechanics of the group, but all three are still enjoyable. It felt nice to come back to the tried-and-true turn-based combat that the series is known for after Ryza‘s departure from that formula, even if Ryza‘s combat was just as fun.
Now as for the actual ports themselves, it seems that Koei Tecmo has made improvements in some areas, but there are still a few noteworthy issues. Although all three games ran without any fps drops or crashes, Ayesha had this funky stuttering issue that would occasionally happen when interacting with certain people or objects. I was able to fix the issue by setting my monitor back to 60hz, but it was odd that the other two never had it even when running at a higher refresh rate.
Ayesha also has a slight, yet noticeable delay when opening menus, entering new areas, or entering combat, a delay that was not present in the other two and did not appear to be related to refresh rate. Outside of those, I did not notice any other technical issues, which is a definite improvement over past Koei Tecmo PC ports.
It also seems that Koei Tecmo has learned from Ryza with regards to controls. Ryza shipped with some pretty bad keyboard controls and no mouse support. The Dusk Trilogy, however, supports the use of both. I tried playing with both controller and keyboard and mouse and, while I do prefer using a controller, the keyboard and mouse controls are actually serviceable this time around. The camera can be a bit choppy when moving around at high sensitivities, but it’s far better than what we got with Ryza.
And of course, given that these are remasters, I should also mention the graphics. I was actually surprised with how good the three looked given that they were originally from the PS3. Sure, they don’t look as good as Ryza, but they’re pretty much on par with Lulua, which also came out last year. The three even have 1440p support, which is likely scaled up from 1080p, but doesn’t even look that bad in fullscreen. You’re even given the option to turn off the character outlines, although I personally preferred keeping them on.
While the port isn’t perfect, the Atelier Dusk Trilogy Deluxe Pack is a solid package overall. The three games all have fun combat, good crafting mechanics, and some really great character designs, the best in the series actually. Couple that with the laid-back, yet interesting storylines and you get a trilogy definitely worth checking out, especially if you’ve just gotten into the series due to Ryza.
You can buy Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk on Steam here.
You can buy Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky on Steam here.
You can buy Atelier Shallie: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea on Steam here.
I was provided a review copy of the game(s) in order to write this review. Read more about how I do my game reviews here.